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Consumer Protection

Safety Agency Tied in Knots in Bid to Prevent Harm to Children from Powerful Magnets 

In May, a nine-year old girl was taken to the emergency room after swallowing three powerful magnets that punched holes through her intestines. Such tiny rare earth magnets were to have been banned several years ago to prevent just this kind of life-threatening injury. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission was blocked by litigation that was decided in the agency’s favor just weeks ago.   

Warning Wire

Public Health Expert Warns “Darkest” Months Ahead As Covid Cases Continue to Rise

With new coronavirus cases rising again around the country, the next few months may be the "darkest of the pandemic," Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned this week.

Warning Wire

Coronavirus Infections Surging in Europe and Most States, With U.S. Cases Reaching Eight Million

Coronavirus infections are surging in Europe and the U.S., which has reached these grim numbers: 8 million cases and 218,000 deaths. With Covid relief benefits largely exhausted, studies show millions of Americans have fallen back into poverty.

Warning Wire

Coronavirus Cases Surging in U.S., With More Than Half the States Reporting Increases

Yesterday, the U.S. reported more than 56,000 new coronavirus infections, the largest single-day total in nearly two months.  New case numbers are rising in 28 states, staying steady in 20 others and decreasing in only two. Meanwhile, at least 22 people in President Trump's circle have tested positive for Covid-19.

Warning Wire

“Utterly Irresponsible”: Public Health Experts Criticize Trump For Downplaying Virus

President Trump returned to the White House last night after being hospitalized for Covid-19 on Friday. According to his medical team, Trump’s oxygen levels dropped twice on Friday and Saturday, and he suffered from symptoms including a cough, a fever and fatigue.

Warning Wire

President Trump and First Lady Infected by Coronavirus; Symptoms Called “Mild”

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, and the president is described as having ''mild symptoms.'' Hours before tweeting word of his positive test, Trump had declared that “the end of the pandemic is in sight.”

Warning Wire

CDC Experiences a Crisis of Credibility As Global Covid-19 Deaths Top 1 Million

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—once “the world’s most admired public health agency”—has suffered a loss of institutional credibility during the Covid-19 pandemic, at the time it was most needed. The CDC responded to the pandemic with technical mistakes and botched messaging, while also facing false accusations and interference from the Trump administration.

Warning Wire

As U.S. Reaches 7 Million Cases, Covid-19 “Long Haulers” Suffer Debilitating Symptoms

Even after appearing to have recovered from Covid-19, many ''long haulers'' continue to suffer headaches, muscle weakness, fatigue and cognitive difficulties, such as an inability to concentrate, for weeks or even months.

Consumer Protection

Privacy Fears Rising as DNA Test Companies Shift to New Ventures

As genetic testing companies increasingly engage in medical and pharmaceutical ventures, a regulatory gap in consumer privacy protections is drawing calls for change and even legislative proposals.

Warning Wire

As Deaths Hit 200,000, CDC Provides Information on Airborne Covid Transmission, Then Deletes It

The federal agency changed information on its website saying the virus can be transmitted more than six feet and ventilation is key, then removed it, saying it had been posted in error. Experts say the information would have been of value to the public.

Warning Wire

As U.S. Death Toll Nears 200,000, U.N. Secretary General Calls Coronavirus Pandemic the World’s Number One Security Threat

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres called the Covid-19 pandemic the “number one threat to global security in our world today.” After marked declines, new coronavirus cases have come roaring back in Europe, while the U.S. death toll nears 200,000.

Environment

EPA Takes a Back Seat as Citizens Confront the Plastics Industry Over an Insidious Pollutant

The plastics industry has presented itself as a constructive force in battling plastic pollution, while blaming the problem on messy consumers and weak disposal and recycling programs. Whatever the weight of that argument, it falls apart when it comes to tiny plastic pellets, which have escaped into waterways by the countless billions as a result of failures by industry, not consumers.

Warning Wire

Freakish Early Snowstorm in the Rockies Whipped Up West Coast Fires

An unusual late-summer snowstorm that hit the Rocky Mountains this month exacerbated the deadly flames by acting as a bellows all along the West Coast. One Oregon fire grew from just 500 acres to more than 131,000 acres overnight, killing four, including a 13-year-old boy and his grandmother.